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Village Brewery, UCalgary team up on beer batch made from Calgary wastewater

The head brewer at Calgary’s Village Brewery did say he’d have to get over the idea of using wastewater for beer.

The Calgary craft brewery, along with the University of Calgary’s Advancing Canadian Water Assets (ACWA) and Xylem, a water technology company based in the United States, have combined for a special edition Village Blonde using reused water.

Yes, reused water. It’s from the Pine Creek wastewater treatment plant by the Bow River in southeast Calgary.

It’s an Alberta first and was done to show how treated wastewater could address future water shortage.

“There’s a mental hurdle to get over of how inherently gross this could be,” said Jeremy McLaughlin, head brewer at Village Brewery.

“But we know that this water is safe, we know that this beer is safe, and we stand by our process.”

Before being used at the brewery, the water was treated at ACWA using tertiary treatment technology. That included advanced oxidation and nano-filtration.  It was then tested by Alberta Health Services’ Safe Healthy Environments to ensure it met standards under the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“AHS was happy to be part of this project to help develop a water safety plan and ensure the water met drinking water standards,” said Jessica Popadynetz, Public Health Inspector, AHS.

“With the right measures in place alternative water sources, such as wastewater, greywater, rooftop collected rainwater, and stormwater, can be made safe for many potable and non-potable end-uses.”

Limited edition beer

It’s a limited batch that’s now on sale at Village Brewery.

“This beer shows that water reuse can be a safe and important part of our sustainable future,” said Christine O’Grady, program coordinator at ACWA.

“Wastewater can be treated using advanced treatment technology, making it into a reliable and safe water supply for many uses.”

ACWA will be hosting an online launch of the beer Aug. 22. People can tune in and learn how the beer was made and how water reuse plays a role in the future.